Album Review: Broken Hands - Split In Two

There aren't many bands who can put an 80s‘ stadium rock ballad ('For The Night') - and one that makes you double check what you are listening to because it sounds just like something Elton John's done, at that - alongside a bunch of cool indie pop anthems, industrial and Americana all on one album, but Broken Hands aren't like most bands.

The Canterbury outfit's second studio effort, 'Split In Two', most definitely doesn't try and fit into any boxes, and fortunately for them, everything they touch turns to gold.

Catfish & The Bottlemen's Van McCann publicly declared himself a massive fan of these guys from the get-go, and with his indie credentials, you couldn't receive a bigger compliment.

But does the five-piece's long-awaited follow-up to their 2015 debut, 'Turbulence', live up to the hype? It's a yes from us.

The fact we can't be in a packed out crowd in the middle of a field rocking out at the barrier to these would-be festival headbangers is pretty depressing.

Opener, 'Can You Feel It', is like a stepping stone from the LP’s predecessor, and though it was written and recorded long before the pandemic, it's eerily fitting, with the line: "Come with me / I’ve got no idea where we’re going."

Second track, 'Lazarus', is like Muse meets Soundgarden, with its almost sci-fi Matt Bellamy-esque riffage and grungy vocals.

But it's third track, 'Friends House', that really sees the band shift in sonics, with a stomping industrial number that sounds like something Trent Reznor could easily borrow.

'Mess' takes elements of industrial and opens with creepy, breathy whispers, which instantly makes you assume you are in for something in the vein of Marilyn Manson - but then a pulsating guitar solo takes it into a completely different realm altogether.

Closing with the 80s stadium rock ballad that is 'For The Night' is a clever choice, one final reminder of how you never know what you are going to get next.

'Split In Two' is like a gripping page-turning thriller that you just can't put down.

For Fans Of: Royal Blood, Muse, Catfish & The Bottlemen

Rating: 9/10

Release date: 21.08.20